NBA Agent Punished For Tampering

by September 19, 2010

According to an exclusive NYT‘s scoop, player agent Andy Miller was found guilty of, basically, swiping a client from Keith Glass, a competing agent. Miller was told to pay $40, 000 in restitution, and may yet be disciplined further by the NBAPA. But the real kicker? The player that’s at the center of the whole tumult is Quincy Douby, a borderline talent who played overseas last season.

Howard Beck reports:

In a ruling issued this summer, an arbitrator found that the agent, Andy Miller, had illegally interfered with Douby’s relationship with another agent, Keith Glass. Miller was ordered to pay $40,000 in damages.

The sum is modest, but the judgment is noteworthy, representing one of the few times that an N.B.A. agent has been punished for, in essence, stealing a client. Agents complain about the practice all the time. But lawsuits are rare, and sanctions even more so, because cases are difficult to prove.

When Glass won his case, it was the equivalent of hitting a game-winning shot at the buzzer from the opposite baseline.

“This certainly has the potential to be a significant case,” said Gabriel Feldman, a law professor at Tulane and director of the university’s sports law program. “It’s rare for an agent to successfully sue another agent for client-poaching, or tampering, or tortious interference, or whatever you want to call it.”

The ruling by the arbitrator, George Nicolau, was issued July 24 but remained confidential until a copy was obtained recently by The New York Times. In the decision, Nicolau concludes that Miller entered into an agreement with Douby while Douby was still under contract with Glass, in violation of state law. Both Glass and Miller are based in New Jersey.

“I respect the arbitration process but disagree with the result,” Miller said in a telephone interview. “I stand by my position. I’ve acted in good conscience and will continue to represent my clients with pride and give them every ounce of energy I have.”

Glass declined to discuss the case, other than to say, “Filing and proceeding with this says it all.”

The case is being reviewed by the players union, which received a copy of the ruling on Thursday.

For more details on the case, be sure to check the link.

It’d be one thing if this centered on an All-Star player, but, again, all this over Quincy Douby?

Andy probably doesn’t feel so good right now.